Daily Prompt: Humble Pie

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Making Humble Pie. Regret. I have some of that, but not enough to make a pie. I throw in remorse. Don’t they mean the same thing?

re·gret
riˈgret/
verb
  1. 1.
    feel sad, repentant, or disappointed over (something that has happened or been done, esp. a loss or missed opportunity).
    re·morse
    riˈmôrs/
    noun
    1. 1.
      deep regret or guilt for a wrong committed.
      Kind of the same thing, one being richer than the other. Sadness. I guess that ingredient needs to go in to the pie as well. As the meat, it is a core emotion that can consume every waking moment when eating humble pie. Anger is another core emotion, usually directed at one self in wordless assaults, “how STUPID can you be!” reverberating in the mind.
      Am I missing anything? Maybe “give yourself a break”. You aren’t perfect and neither are the people who judge you for your mistakes. Perhaps a sauce made of judgement and the past. On the side please. Sprinkle liberally with a dusting of forgiveness.
      Humbly I come to you as a person who has made her share of mistakes. I am still going through the process of shedding the aftermath of the destruction of my marriage, one that it seems many others deem to point bony fingers at me and say “It’s all because of YOU!” “You are to blame!” My near to be ex husband will not talk to me. It is easier for him that way to keep up the blame game in his mind. Our children, both young adults now, live with him. They see his view point more than mine, hear his side of the ‘story’ now that it is a year gone in the past, any time the lawyers file another motion. In a state where everything should be split 50/50, he wants to fight about it, wants more because he feels entitled. After all, I am to blame. And he is angry.
      I’ve asked for forgiveness. No pardon lady. So I go through my days sampling humble pie. Looking back into the dark cob web filled corners from time to time wondering if had I done, said or thought differently about anything, all things, maybe I wouldn’t be here today. Maybe…
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      A few weeks ago, I was having a particularly hard time with the events. I live two hours away from everything I know. My kids, the ex, my lawyer, my friends, his family, who I made my own. The distance has helped but it also has cut me deeply, like a tree growing too close to a barb wire fence. The scars are permanent, the  pain of this separation is felt deep in my soul. I literally left everything behind. I often dreamed of being a nomad, traveling around the world, but not by force. I was forced to move by my inability to support myself.
      In the transition of this painful time, I have taken on a calloused outlook. I can’t be sad all of the time. Filled with regret as I keep looking back at the mistakes I caused, or am continually blamed for. So, I am Tim. As Tim, I can start to heal. I have to ignore the past, and with that the anger people I love have towards me as they work through their pain and hurt that they blame on me. I have to put on rose colored glasses and live for today, dream about tomorrow. Move on without them. Add space for them in the future, but live the life I have now.
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      I think I will pass on the humble pie, the digestive trouble I have eating it and give myself a much needed break. I will give myself a slice of credit cake. I might have made some mistakes but not 20 years worth. I really was a good mom and wife during that time. I did my best to be the cherished and loved sister and daughter in law. I know I was missed as they carved the turkey a few days ago, the first time in 20 years I was not present in the family gathering I once was a part of, giving thanks. Instead, I gave thanks this year with my cousin, her counterpart, my aunt and uncle.
      I am a good person still. I am not fighting my near ex for more than my share. I am defending my share because he wants to give me less. My lawyer is calling the shots, it is up to a judge to deem what is equally ours in the near future. It won’t get me rich, but it will make me an independent person once again. That is all I am asking. Enough to supplement my meager wage so I can continue with college without worrying over if I can afford adequate shelter.
      Yes, a healthy dose of credit cake please. I am ever so grateful for the humble pie experience, but for now I have had enough of the despair that lays heavy in my soul when I eat it. I am truly sorry for what pain I have caused. Now I need to move on with or without their approval.
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Expectations

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Expectations… I try so hard to lose them out of the proverbial bag of sorrow strapped to my back. I try to loosen this bag, empty this bag, one feeling at a time. Take it out and examine the reasons it is there.

Marriage = communication = acceptance

None of that really happened the way I expected it to. Especially the communication part. My Interpersonal communications professor once said in a lecture: The message communicated is in the power of the receiver. No matter how I communicated my message, he received them in a convoluted manner. Somehow I was viewed as intelligent but insane. A manipulator. I honestly didn’t see this in myself, yet knowing the blinds pulled on my Jahari Window, it is possible it was something I never saw but others did.

Marriage = monogamy unless both parties agree to keep the door open.

Marriage in retrospect is a union between 2 people ONLY. My mother and sister were right on this one. If we wanted to open the relationship door we should have never married. Still, had we never married, my son, my precious little man, would have not been born. The butterfly wings would have moved the wind in a different direction. Do I regret having relationships outside of our marriage that he initially agreed to? Yes and… no. I caused a lot of pain not by my decisions, but because of my ignorance in the manner of relationships.  I thought I did a good job in keeping my relationships outside of marriage separate. Many times he did not. Sometimes, so blinded by attachment to another, I refused to let the outside relationship go. At fifteen years of being married he asked me to leave and I left. He asked me to come back and I did, as a monogamous partner. I kept to this promise until the end. 

Straight versus Bi-sexual versus Lesbian

Straight = monogamy ( or not) to a man ( I am a woman)

Bi-sexual = love for both a man or woman, monogamous but often not

Lesbian = monogamy to a woman ( I am a woman)

Open marriage = multiple partners = affairs

This statement has been the hardest one for me to digest. My expectations in having both a husband and wife (singular) was that it closely resembled my bi-sexuality and sexual needs/desires/wants. One did not threaten the other, or at least I felt. As the receiver he saw this differently when his expectations were seldom met.

Divorce = A family separation; me separated from them

His family is one I adopted as my own. After establishing our open relationship, my mom and sister had nothing to do with me. My mother tried to keep a superficial relationship going, but I expected more and wanted more. My sister wanted to and succeeded to cut me and my family from her family’s existence. I never expected this. I fought hard to keep to my path, my desires, my true self and keep them, all 6 of them in my life, my children’s life. Until I came out to my sister about a relationship I had formed with a woman, we saw each other daily, her children and mine were very close. The fabric tear was so complete that the only way I can describe it was as if her family perished together in a horrific manner. I/ we lost them all suddenly and completely. Had I remained closeted, keeping my bi-sexual nature under the winter clothes, way in the back corner of the closet, perhaps I could have not made such a mess of things, both in my marriage and in my family relationships. The pain is so compounded and acute. 

I struggle not to sob from the pain Expectations, like jagged glass, have caused my soul, my being. 

Today I meet with my husband one last time as Husband and Wife. My dear friend said why didn’t you have the lawyer just mail him his copy? I need this tangible ending. I want to end it with physical evidence that I will always hold in my heart. I need to feel the raw emotions of saying goodbye to a 20 year relationship with this man to move on. It might mean that I also have to say goodbye to his family or at least move to let go of the expectations I hold, that nothing will change. His family = his family, not mine. I see them struggle to keep neutral and the pain it causes them. Change is constant and not always pain free. Still, if done right, it will not cause my foundation to falter. I will be strong and say goodbye, look toward the future with wonder and without the expectations that sometimes hinder my forward movement. I reside in God’s lap and there I am comforted. 

 

 

A Hiatis

Sometimes in the daily hustle, we all just need to stop. And Breathe.ImageThat is what I have done the last week. I’ve shelved my writing, journal-ing… my thoughts outside of my head and turned inward. I needed to get quiet in my soul, and muddle around with fears, worries, wonders and grief… I have experienced waves of grief through letting go. A mind map picture of sand or water slipping through my fingers as my hand tries to cup tightly that which I want to hold.

I had a great visit with my adult daughter yesterday. I am so proud of her, the woman she is becoming. I told her of my ever evolving future; I am not making enough money currently to save for rent past June. My aunt has offered a room for me to stay with her family in Clearwater, two hours from where I currently live. This life change, once again so profound in such a short time has me scared of change. I am just now feeling settled into the solitude of living alone. I talk to my inner child and try to reassure her that this change isn’t as profoundly different than any other. I will MISS this place, THIS slice of heaven. I love being HERE. Yet, I knew always I couldn’t stay for long unless something opened up allowing me a better opportunity for work. I have also encouraged the move though… I haven’t been diligent enough to get myself exposed to facilitate such a job opportunity. Part of my negligence is basking in the tiny bit of comfort of the knowing. I know repetition, I know the company that I am currently working for, I know the familiarity of blue collar work life. If anything, having this service/retail job gives me stability in my life where everything else seems to be constantly changing like a kaleidoscope in a child’s hands.  

I am creating my own obstructions… and on purpose, to protect that scared inner child. A poignant reminder this weekend of that concept came to light when I chose to get pretty drunk Saturday and sought company of others, realizing on Sunday that in doing that I chose to block out the thought I wasn’t going to be invited to see my son being baptized. A woman’s intuition is strong, a mother’s intuition is spot on, deadly accurate at times. Yes, mom’s do have an all seeing third eye. I knew on Friday, extracting that information from a post his youth pastor posted – one of my son’s text message to his pastor and then another vague message the same pastor posted directly after the post mentioning my son. From that point on Friday morning ( or evening) to Sunday, I stuck my head deep into the bowels of blindness. My mind shut down that information because knowing I would not be there to see such an important event ( more important to me as I see as an adult the commitment to God in baptism is such a huge step; almost like being born and taking the first breath) because he didn’t want me there.  To compound matters, my daughter chose not to communicate with me all weekend and my now ex-husband who I saw on Saturday as we tied up loose ends on our dying marriage, never spoke a word. Yet they were present. The pain in my soul’s seat I felt Sunday after the event was profound. The anger and contempt I felt were confusing. Do I direct my anger towards my son who didn’t want me there? My daughter or more directly to my husband, who SHOULD know after 20 years of intimacy know how important that was to me? There have been a handful of life events that I, as my kids mother, have not witnessed first hand. I believe in retrospect, I am angry not at the people that kept me from being there, but at the Universe for teaching me an all important lesson of forgiveness. I needed to see that in forgiving myself I can forgive them. I had to step back, re-evaluate, look closer and see what the lesson was. In doing that, I was angry and held contempt about my own failures as a mother, that honestly I wouldn’t be here today, alone, if I had made different choices along the way. Sure, maybe divorced, but not so utterly alone as I have often feel, cut off from the family unit I once belong to.

I have to walk away from my tribe and find in that a new tribe to belong to. I will be alone for a while, drifting until that happens. That in itself is scary to contemplate. I will be stronger in the long run, knowing I will survive, my soul intact, my life view still looking out into the world through rose colored glasses. The blame game stops today. I am in control of my life, my choices, my thoughts and feelings. It is what it is and no more. I cannot and should not try to control the actions, thoughts and feelings of another. That in itself is futile anyway and only brings such an inner conflict that causes me the grief I have often felt in the past. Today I will forgive and take one feeble step outside of my dark corner, unfurl my body from the cocoon and gaze into the brightness of the day. I am more powerful than I have ever known. I am not that scared inner child.

‘Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond imagination. It is our light more than our darkness which scares us. We ask ourselves – who are we to be brilliant, beautiful, talented, and fabulous. But honestly, who are you to not be so?

You are a child of God, small games do not work in this world. For those around us to feel peace, it is not example to make ourselves small. We were born to express the glory of god that lives in us. It is not in some of us, it is in all of us. While we allow our light to shine, we unconsciously give permission for others to do the same. When we liberate ourselves from our own fears, simply our presence may liberate others.’

– Marianne Williamson in Return to Love: Reflections on a Course in Miracles